Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

 

Cloud News: Azure + Server = New Cloud Division, Cloud Computing Group & Linthicum’s 5 Cloud Predictions

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 by

More news raining from the Cloud:

  • Microsoft Azure, Server teams form new cloud division
    “In a much anticipated move, Microsoft announced the combination of the Windows Azure group with the Windows Server and Solutions group into a new organization, titled the Server and Cloud Division. The new division, headed by Senior Vice President Amitabh Srivastava, will be a part of the Servers and Tools Business, headed by Bob Muglia.” (source: cnet – the Wisdom of Clouds)

    • Commentary: As always, James Urquhart breaks the news on his great blog, the Wisdom of Clouds. While it seems that this announcement has been some time in the making, it is good to see it materialize. It only makes sense to me that Microsoft blend the Server/Cloud environments. It’s important that synergies exist from the get-go since many of the features can be leveraged cross-departmentally and should be views as a “single solution.” I’ve mentioned this numerous times before but this is why we at GoGrid developed Cloud Connect which is a Hybrid Hosting solution of physical and cloud servers all connected via private dedicated physical connections. Buried in James’ article is the mention that CTO Ray Ozzie is no longer in charge of the Azure team which signifies Microsoft’s move toward making Azure an important part of their business offerings.
  • Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and Others Form Cloud Computing Group
    “A group of companies is starting up an Enterprise Cloud Buyers Council in hopes of removing barriers to enterprise use of hosted cloud computing. Initial members include companies that offer hosted cloud computing as well as enterprises that use such services, including Microsoft, IBM, HP, Cisco, AT&T, BT, EMC, Deutsche Bank, Alcatel-Lucent, Amdocs, CA, Nokia Siemens Networks, Telecom Italia and Telstra. Two industry organizations, Distributed Management Task Force and the IT Service Management Forum, are also involved. The TM Forum, an industry association that helps information and communications companies create profitable services, came up with the idea of the council.” (source: PCWorld)

    • Commentary: It’s great to see so many big names joining together to form a “Council.” My only fear is that egos within each of the organizations will come into play as each company tries to promote their own agenda. I can only hope that this (and other similar organizations that have been set up) will actually do something constructive with their efforts. Working on avoiding “vendor lock-in” and “standards-based solutions” is great and all, but these are overly hyped buzz-words that have been discussed throughout 2009 (and back some). Perhaps by throwing some big names behind a council will help to mitigate the fear that so many enterprises have about the cloud (e.g., security, reliability, compliance, standards, etc.) Time will tell if this new organization will produce any effects or results whatsoever. I’m a bit skeptical myself.
  • Top 5 cloud computing predictions for 2010
    “Cloud computing standards and major cloud computing outages top Linthicum’s list. Evidently it’s a requirement that all of those in the cloud computing world must chime in with their cloud computing predictions for 2010, so here are mine…” (source: InfoWorld)

    • Commentary: Oh boy, I’m already behind on my predictions. Guess I need to start on that really soon! David’s Linthicum’s top 5 is a pretty sensical list actually, although numbers 4 and 5 might indirectly go hand-in-hand. Hint, if you are thinking about a successful new-business to start, do a cloud computing startup since you will be snapped up by a large player once you are mildly successful. Well, that is a dramatic oversimplification of #’s 4 and 5. Read through his list though as they are distinct and good thoughts.

    (more…) «Cloud News: Azure + Server = New Cloud Division, Cloud Computing Group & Linthicum’s 5 Cloud Predictions»

StartUp SF v2.2 Video & Presentation by David Weekly (PBWorks)

Friday, December 4th, 2009 by

SUSF_give_ideas_exlaxThis past Wednesday night, GoGrid was the host of another StartUp SF (along with co-host Microsoft BizSpark of which we are a Hosting Partner). The guest speaker was David Weekly, founder of PBWorks, a client of GoGrid & ServePath. StartUp SF is a regular meetup in San Francisco designed to help young businesses become more successful. Each meetup has a format designed to stimulate, engage and network in a social learning environment. Each event has a guest speaker who talks about expert subject matter and how it relates to helping startups. Also, successful companies showcase their products and services in an interactive manner with product demos occurring throughout the event.

Full details from the 12/02/09 event are on the StartUp SF page.

Below is the video of David’s talk titled “Give Your Ideas Ex-Lax“:

David Weekly (PBWorks) Speaks at StartUp SF v2.2 from HighTechDad on Vimeo.

His presentation is also available on SlideShare and is below:

(more…) «StartUp SF v2.2 Video & Presentation by David Weekly (PBWorks)»

The Microsoft/Danger/T-Mobile Sidekick Fiasco is NOT a Failure of Cloud Computing!

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 by

sidekickblue_flame Over the past few days, I have seen a lot of articles, tweets and commentary about how the recent failure within Danger (who was purchased by Microsoft about a year ago) of data for the T-Mobile Sidekick was “the Cloud’s fault,” and this really bothered me. As Microsoft is poised to do something with the Danger brand (“Project Pink“) as well as soon release their Cloud Computing Platform called Azure, this could not have come at a worse time for them. There is obviously a lot of attention being paid to the cell phone market place as the Android platform is trying to make a positioning move to attempt to dethrone Apple’s iPhone. The Danger (now Microsoft) Sidekick was a device that provided great functionality “back in the day” (I actually went through quite a few generations of Sidekicks – from the B&W version up to a few color ones a few years ago). The Sidekick has a tiny market share and the user demographic is really much younger (e.g., teens) than the iPhone/Android/Blackberry crowd.

Last week, the Danger data network started experiencing some degradation of service where users were unable to access their data. A quick side note about the Sidekick, unlike other data-containing cellphones, the Sidekick stores all of the data (contacts, appointments, pictures, etc.) in a network datastore and not within the device itself. Most users rely solely on this service and don’t back up their data to a local computer. Other “smarter” phones like the Blackberry and iPhone rely on data synchronization with a physical computer or an Exchange Server to reliably back up their data. In my opinion, this is where the failure of the Sidekick started – single remote source of data only.

Details on the data issue are still being revealed (recently, there is a discussion about “dogfooding” or even “sabotage” where Microsoft may have wanted to replace the existing technology with their own – I will let the conspiracy theory experts battle that one out) but my understanding is that Microsoft wanted to upgrade the SAN (Storage Area Network) that powered the Sidekick data network and contracted with Hitachi to get the job done. Unfortunately for reasons unknown, no backup of the data was performed prior to this upgrade attempt (Failure #2). The upgrade of the SAN proceeded without a backup in place and the data was “destroyed” resulting in thousands of Sidekick users stuck without their data. As of this writing, some users have actually been able to recover data (e.g., if they didn’t power off their device or if they did a “reverse sync” from their Sidekick back to the Danger servers – I don’t have details on this so please don’t try anything without doing any research first).

This brings me back to the title of this post: this fiasco is NOT a failure of Cloud Computing, it is simply a failure of not following standard IT practices, ones that even an average computer user knows. Back up your data, your servers and your infrastructure regularly and store it securely in different locations.

It is somewhat understandable (and unfortunate) that mainstream media and even the tech community jump so quickly to the conclusion that the Cloud is at fault here. Cloud Computing is relatively new and as with any new technology or service, people are looking for any and all holes therein. The same could be said about the launch of eCommerce back in the mid-1990′s. There were failures, fraud and other issues associated with it and the naysayers were quick to point out only the negatives of the movement. Today, people use eCommerce for everything and could not live without it (there are still issues with fraud and security but the technology has evolved and stabilized). Cloud Computing is now going through a similar hype-cycle and we are in the phase where many are adopting and using it wholeheartedly but others are sitting in wait, hoping for some sort of a failure to point out the disadvantages of it.

With recent Gmail failures, users were quick to blame the Cloud. Gmail is a great example of a SaaS application (which many, including me, call a “Cloud Application”). However, Gmail has been around longer than the term “Cloud Computing” so have we simply compartmentalized it into a Cloud Application category? It is not a huge issue if we have. However, what DOES bother me is when a failure happens therein and people simply say “oh, it’s the Cloud’s fault”. Sorry, but what would we have said if a similar failure happened 4 years ago? “Oh, it’s a failure of SaaS” and “SaaS is evil”?

(more…) «The Microsoft/Danger/T-Mobile Sidekick Fiasco is NOT a Failure of Cloud Computing!»

Announcing Microsoft WebsiteSpark Fortified with GoGrid, ServePath & Hybrid Hosting

Monday, September 28th, 2009 by

GoGrid, and parent company ServePath, are excited to announce participation in Microsoft’s new WebsiteSpark Program, specifically targeted towards Web Professionals. Using WebsiteSpark, Web Pros can drive new business opportunities through connections with partners and customers around the world.

wnhp-banner-branded

Before jumping into the details and Q&A, if you already know that you want to participate in this program with either GoGrid or ServePath as your Hosting partner, please visit our signup pages on the GoGrid site or ServePath site.

But what does all of this mean? Trust me, I have read through all of the 19 pages of Frequently Asked Questions and Program documentation and it is a bit overwhelming. So, this blog post is really an effort to try to cull out the critical points of importance for you. However, if there are any questions that you do have after reading this, I encourage you to talk to some WebsiteSpark folks or sales reps at GoGrid or ServePath. At a high-level, this is an incredibly helpful program targeted towards Web Professionals.

Probably the best way to approach this is through a series of questions and answers.

What is WebsiteSpark?

(more…) «Announcing Microsoft WebsiteSpark Fortified with GoGrid, ServePath & Hybrid Hosting»

Navigating the Layers of the Cloud Computing Pyramid

Thursday, March 26th, 2009 by

Over the past year, I have written about the various primal layers of Cloud Computing. Typically, my role is to “over simplify” in order to make the Cloud a bit more palpable by “the masses.” My colleague, Randy Bias, is the resident über-tech, so I usually leave the more complicated developer and sys-admin posts to him. As we all know, the Cloud is hot and becoming increasingly complicated as new products, services and vendors throw their hats into the ring. But is this over-complication confusing and saturating the market? I think not, in terms of the latter, but it is truly becoming more confusing.

Cloud-Triangle_plain

First, we at GoGrid, broadly define Cloud Computing as such (latest definition):

On-demand self-service Internet infrastructure where you pay-as-you-go and use-only what you need, all managed by a browser, application or API.

Even that definition I feel is a bit skewed toward Infrastructure. Probably more aptly defined, it would be:

On-demand, self-service Applications, Platforms, Services or Infrastructure dynamically consumed on a pay-as-you-go basis using a browser, application or API.

(more…) «Navigating the Layers of the Cloud Computing Pyramid»